Currently Funded Innovations
Freedom School® Macon 2017
received a grant of $26,384, about 25% of the total budget needed, to reach 50 scholars in rising grades 1-3 from Macon/Bibb County’s least well-resourced elementary schools and their families. The program will run from June 12 to July 21 and be delivered by 6 Servant Leader Interns working with the scholars in small groups of no more than 10. Freedom School® is a program developed by the Children’s Defense Fund to support, sustain, and increase literacy among children in poverty. Freedom School® Macon 2017 will be sponsored and coordinated by Appleton Episcopal Ministries, the oldest outreach ministry in the Diocese of Atlanta, with support from St Francis, St Paul’s, and Christ Church congregations in Macon along with the other parishes of the Middle Georgia convocation, all of which collaborate in Appleton Episcopal Ministries: All Angels’, Eatonton; St Stephen’s, Milledgeville; St Christopher’s, Perry; All Saints’, Warner Robins; St Andrew’s, Fort Valley; St Luke’s, Fort Valley; and St Mary’s, Montezuma. Other partners include the Bibb County School System, Centenary Methodist Church, Macon; First Baptist Church of Christ, Macon; Bethel CME Church, Macon; Mercer University; Macon’s Beloved Community; and the private non-profit Book ‘Em program. The program will be hosted at St Paul’s Episcopal Church Parish House in Macon, the site of Appleton’s corporate office and the original site of the Appleton Church Home.
Hannah Project Atlanta
received $2,400 to offer an alternative to jail for women arrested for prostitution modeled on the successful Hannah Project Nashville. Space, equipment, and support are being donated by the Kroc Center of the Salvation Army’s Southeastern Territorial Headquarters. This innovation can reach full sustainability within three years by establishing a parallel Prostitution Solicitation School as an alternative to jail time for men arrested for paying for sex and funneling the fines paid by the men into the Hannah Project. Chimen Rogers, a lay person from St Bartholomew’s, Atlanta, is the proposer and coordinator of this innovation. Read more here.
Theology From the Margins
received $5,500 for a pilot year of a theological studies certificate program for people experiencing homelessness in Atlanta. Similar to the very successful certificate in theological studies offered at Lee Arrendale State Prison, Theology from the Margins offers a well-organized schedule of courses and class meetings in space donated by Central Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, staffed by professors, graduate students, and seminarians from various institutions around the metro. And it extends the presence of the Diocese of Atlanta among new populations of persons not currently connected to any of our other ministries. Although proposed by the Reverend Mary Wetzel and Hannah Graf of Church of the Common Ground, this program is not “owned” or administered by Common Ground but is rather an innovation growing out of the work of these leaders on the streets and sparked by identified needs they have heard expressed.